Filter by subject:

Articles - About Us

Summer Sessions

Post on in About Us

Well Winter is most definitely upon us with clocks going back and storm warnings dominating the headlines. Nights are drawing in and we’ve just switched the office heating on for the first time as the temperature drops (we do have a rather large old building to heat). It’s been a busy summer for Moov2 both with some amazing client projects and also attending (and organising) some fantastic events.

The digital industry is like no other when it comes to events and meet-ups. It would be doing it a disservice to simply call these “business networking events”. Certainly a lot of networking does happen but also so much more. Typically, these events are put on as a result of a passion for what we do and a desire for like-minded individuals to meet and share experience and learning. It’s pretty unusual for an industry to be so full of people who are so passionate and enthusiastic about what they do that they take time out of their personal lives to organise, attend and thoroughly enjoy even more work-related activities.

So what have we been up to?

Barcamp Bournemouth

barcampbornemouth.org / @bcbournemouth

Barcamps are informal, user generated conferences (often known as an “un-conference”) where attendees take their turn to become the speakers to share their knowledge. There are hundreds of Barcamp events organised around the world and Barcamp Bournemouth is our local incarnation. It was a great event with a good attendance and lots of great talks ranging from startup money advice to a talk on an autonomous toy tank! Our founder (Dan) presented a talk entitled “How to suck at running a business” in which he turned his experiences and learnings of running Moov2 about face in an explanation of what not to do in order to highlight his advice for other entrepreneurs. You can view the slides from his talk here.

HackBmth

hackbmth.org / @hackbmth

Way back in April we took a trip to to sunny Bournemouth for the second ever HackBmth hack day. Hack days are events where people meet up and work on side projects for in a condensed time period, usually of a day or two. These ideas can be anything from a new startup idea, a useful tool or commonly, something a little more light-hearted which you wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to work on in your 9-5 job.

HackBmth is a day long event with no strict rules or pressure and simply encourages local, digital creatives to gather and hack on their own ideas and share their progress at the end of the day. Dan experimented with the latest Microsoft Kinect SDK whilst one of our developers Pete collaborated with other developers from other agencies to work on a web-based, multiplayer version of the family game UNO (with considerably more success). You can view some of the other projects worked on here.

Meetdraw 18

meetdraw.com / @meetdraw

Dan and Andrea headed back to Bournemouth to attend the 18th Meetdraw event. Meetdraw is a social event organised by a collective of Bournemouth based creatives working for various agencies or independently. Meetdraw events are organised by volunteers purely for the good of the “digital scene” in and around Bournemouth. The events usually have a theme and this was no exception with the theme being “school sportsday”. The occasion had taken over the end of Bournemouth pier and consisted of a relay race taking in traditional sports day activities (sack race, egg & spoon) combined with some features of the pier (hook-a-duck and the helter skelter). Another great event with a massive attendance highlighting the strength of the areas digital industry.

Windows Phone Dev Day

wpdd.moov2.com / @wpddbmth

After a successful Windows Phone Developer Day last year, Dan and Scott decided to organise another event. Windows Phone is still very much the underdog in the smartphone space but has made great strides in the past couple of years. The event was another great success and offered some excellent speakers ranging from Microsoft to start up apps businesses, advertising platforms through to freelancers sharing their technical experience. Thanks once again to our friends at Redweb for hosting us.

Southampton Creatives

Southampton Creatives / @sotoncreatives

All of the events mentioned so far have been based in Bournemouth, which has developed an absolutely thriving digital scene over the past few years and is reflected in the number of events and the attendance they draw and also in the number of digital businesses being established and growing in the area. Southampton on the other hand has had much less going on in terms of events and meet ups leaving enthusiastic folks typically having to travel to Bournemouth, London or Brighton for most events. Southampton Creatives is one such effort to address this and offers a monthly gathering for local digital creatives to meet up and get to know each other. It’s great to see a build up of interest locally and we’re happy to support and encourage our local scene as best we can.

HackSoton

HackSoton.com / @hacksoton

In an attempt to further encourage the development of a local “digital scene” in Southampton, we helped to organise the first hacksoton, our Southampton take on the hack day concept. The first hacksoton was held at the offices of Southampton based agency Etch who we worked with to run the event. The event was a roaring success and attracted a good audience both locally and from further afield. A relaxed, low pressure event which even made time for a BBQ on a sunny town quay. Feedback was good and we had a great show and tell at the end of the day with some great efforts made by attendees. Dan and Lawrence made a good effort in building a simple multiplayer html5 game using NodeJS (an unfamiliar platform which offered some great learning). The next HackSoton event is scheduled for November 16th, come and join us.

Silicon Beach

siliconbeach.eu / @siliconbeach13

2013 was the third annual Silicon Beach held in Bournemouth and was another excellent conference. Silicon Beach is a two day digital marketing event which pulls together some of the best speakers in industry talking on subjects ranging from the evolution of marketing campaigns to understanding innovation and even some fascinating talks on “futurology”. Sillicon Beach is one of the stand out events of the year for us due to the diverse talks and the inspiration they spark for our own business and the projects we execute for our clients.

PubHack

www.pubhack.co.uk / @pub_hack

Most recently, the entire Moov2 team descended on Portsmouth to attend a creative hack day called “Pubhack”, based as the name might suggest, in a pub. Tempting as the food and drink on offer were the main focus for the day was a light hearted competition to come up with an interesting hack based on the provided theme of “post-apocalypse”. Our collective effort came in the form of a browser based game called “Last man standing”. We made use of the new HTML5 battery API to create a multiplayer game highlighting which players had the most power remaining and highlighting the location of anyone who is plugged into a power supply (by means of the HTML5 geolocation capabilities). Pubhack was another excellent hack day and good to experience a new event in a new venue.

What next?

Despite summer being officially over, we still intend to keep up our presence at any events we can get to. They’re a great chance to make new contacts, learn new skills, get motivated and be inspired.

Featured on Guardian website

Post on in About Us, Mobile, Software Development

SpeedshifterGuardian The Carphone Warehouse have published a video feature on the Guardian website showcasing the Speedshifter mobile app we built for ABRSM.

The video was independently made and neither ourselves or ABRSM had any involvement or awareness which is testament to the usefulness and quality of the app. We’re certainly proud to see it looked upon so favourably!

View the video on the Guardian or read more about Speedshifter in our case study.

Windows Phone Developer Day 2

Post on in About Us, Mobile

This Saturday sees the second annual Windows Phone Developer day held at Redweb in Bournemouth. Moov2 director Dan Thomas has helped organise the event alongside Microsoft developer Scott Lovegrove for the past two years. This year the line up of speakers at the event is exceptional.

Windows Phone has now become the third most popular phone platform this year as reported by IDC so we have helped to organise a day-long conference hosting some of the platform’s most knowledgeable and influential experts.

Topics ranging from development, cloud hosted APIs, funding & monetisation through to design and user experience will all be covered by the stellar line up. Tickets still available for free at http://wpdd.moov2.com

10 years on and still going strong

Post on in About Us

10 years is a long time. On the 14th August 2003 Moov2 was officially incorporated, excuse us whilst we indulge in a little reminiscing…

2003

Several significant technical events occurred in 2003:

  • We said goodbye to Concorde as it executed its last ever commercial flight bringing the era of supersonic flight to an end (for now at least).
  • Over the pond, our North American cousins experienced the largest power blackout in their history.
  • Apple Launched iTunes which played a significant part in the success of the iPod and set the wheels in motion for the formidable success of the iPhone (then but a glint in Steve Jobs’ eye).
  • Terminator was elected as the Governor of California.

None of which however, compare the the most significant event of all* which was the incorporation of what has become our career home for the past decade, Moov2 Ltd.
*slight exaggeration may be present somewhere in this sentence.

A decade of technical evolution

A lot has changed in our 10 year lifespan and particularly with regards to the digital playing field in which we operate. In 2003 dial up internet was more common than broadband and mobile internet such as 3G was nothing more than a pipe dream for most (anyone remember WAP?). The impact of high speed home and mobile internet has had a huge impact on the shape of the web. Bandwidth dependant Youtube wasn’t launched until 2005 so we’ve no idea what we did with our lunchtimes back then! In 2003, MySpace and LinkedIn were only just getting started out in defining what is known today as the “Social Media” space. Facebook (outside of academia) or Twitter didn’t come along until 2006, which is just as well really without any Youtube videos of cats to share what would be the point?

Beyond the web, the mobile devices we used back then were unrecognisable compared to the portable powerhouses we depend on today. Video conferencing was a gimmick only available in “high end” phones and touch screens were only just finding their feet, often dependent on a stylus and lets face it, before the iPhone just crap.

Software development has come a long way over the past 10 years too, although it’s interesting to see what features have come full circle. Before high speed, reliable internet communications any high-availability applications had to be traditional desktop software installed on users machines making use of that machine’s storage capabilities and minimising network traffic. As web access and browsers evolved, along with the help from plugins such as Flash, software previously only viable on desktop became practicable in browser (commonly known as “rich internet applications”). Now, with the advent of portable devices but not-so-reliable mobile internet, web browsers are giving us access to local storage mechanisms again in order for web based applications to run offline. The less reliable speeds of mobile internet has also brought performance back into focus. After a several years of “bandwidth is cheap, time is expensive” mentality we’re re-learning to minimise file sizes and optimise performance. Desktop virtualisation and “cloud computing” are also reminiscent of the days of mainframe networks with the same performance and security practices resurfacing.

Business

It’s an achievement in itself to still be trading a decade later, particularly with the turbulent times we’ve all weathered over the past few years. We’ve seen endless start ups come and go and whilst we’ve had our own ups and downs, things are going better than ever at this significant milestone. We feel extremely privileged to have worked with so many amazing clients and partners over the years without whom we obviously wouldn’t have made it this far.

“Doing business” has always been a byproduct of doing what we love which is building great software. However we’ve learnt a lot about this too, particularly the importance and satisfaction that comes from open, fair and honest business. There are some who just want to “win” at business whatever the cost but for us, those who are passionate about what they do are who we love to work with and we’re happy we’ve found so many like-minded people to do business with.

What’s next?

We’ve learned a lot over the past 10 years but there’s a lot more yet to come. In such a fast-paced, ever changing industry every day offers new challenges and opportunities. We’ve been taking stock of what we’ve achieved in the past decade and have our sights set on even bigger and better things for the future.

Come join us

We’re looking to expand our team and currently looking for a talented designer to join us for the next part of our journey, check the job posting here.

Designer Needed

Post on in About Us

Have we got a job for you? You betcha!

This role comprises elements of data visualisation, interface design, graphic design and web design but “badass screen designer” would probably be the most accurate description. We’re looking for someone who is a “creative” at their core but also has a fine appreciation for modern web and mobile development and the experiences they can offer.

If you’re devoutly passionate about delivering exceptional user experience and can offer a confident perspective on interaction and data visualisation challenges, then read on…

About Our Work

We solve unusual problems. Our projects tend not to be the run-of-the-mill, been-done-before type of thing. When our clients get in touch and describe their problem, we know we’re in for an interesting ride. For example…

  • iPhone and Android app to slow down music, in real time, without affecting pitch.
  • Creating web content distribution platform for a major banking corporation.
  • Mobile app that reacts discretely to lone workers in dangerous situations, polling location with remote activation to ensure user safety.
  • A tablet based football coaching app that’s used by many top flight premier league and international coaches.
  • Data capture and analysis software for remote working nurses across the UK.
  • Sales platform used across Europe by Hasbro, the Worlds largest toy manufacturer.

So yeah, a pretty eclectic bunch of projects with few commonalities bar they are challenging, delivered using the latest technology and pose many unique interface, data-vis and design challenges.

About you

Unquestionably passionate about all things digital and design. Appreciation of typography, colour theory, layout, spatial awareness, glorious user interfaces and experiences is a must. You will be working with some of the most gifted developers in the industry (just don’t let them know we said that) who all respect and value the impact good design can have on the products they build. Through your creativity, originality, attention to detail and understanding of objectives, everything we produce will have a heightened level of quality.

Experience helps, but raw talent is what matters most. Any coding skills are a bonus along with any supporting portfolio/showcase work you can back up your application with (we love to see websites, dribbble, behance or any other supporting profiles). Any examples that demonstrate your creativity will bolster your application favourably.

Our Design Crushes

If you like what we like, then you’re off to a good start so here’s some of our favourite design heroes, inspirations and resources:

  • f-i.com
  • visual.ly
  • littlebigdetails.com
  • goodui.org
  • hackdesign.org
  • trentwalton.com
  • elliotjaystocks.com
  • dribbble.com
  • behance.net
  • pinterest.com

Where we are and why it’s awesome

We are unconventionally situated out-of-town at the very south of the UK in the beautiful New Forest. Less than five minutes south of us and you’re looking across the Solent at the Isle of Wight from Calshot Spit. Calshot boasts a huge activities centre offering access to watersports (sailing, windsurfing, kite boarding etc) as well as huge climbing walls, indoor ski slope, full sized velodrome(!) and much more. Heading west and you’re into the New Forest national park which is filled with amazing landscapes, quaint historic villages, friendly wandering ponies and plenty of outdoor pursuits. We’re 20 minutes from Southampton and 45 minutes from Bournemouth with its amazing beaches so city, town, country and seaside living is all in very easy reach.

Salary

£20-25k

Apply

Get in touch and send us your portfolio and a bit about yourself (CVs and covering letters are fine but we’d love something a little less conventional). careers@moov2.com

No agencies please.

Responsive Web Design for Moov2.com

Post on in About Us, HTML5

We’ve recently rolled out a new design of Moov2.com to exercise some of our latest best practices in web development and leverage a fully “Responsive Web Design” (RWD). We’ve written about the approach before but in this article we’ll break down some of the details of our latest site incarnation.

Practice what we preach

Here at Moov2, we’re fully subscribed to the RWD approach and heartily recommend any new web development give it due consideration. Whether that be for a world-wide e-commerce web site or an enterprise web application. As such advocates it would be hypocritical of us not to follow our own advice. Our previous site did cater for mobile devices but was more of an after-thought, this latest version treats all screen sizes (or “viewports”) as first class citizens.

Simplify, simplify, simplify

Throughout the build we focused on a strict concept of every element deserving its place on the page. Removing clutter from the site not only makes the technical task of creating a responsive site easier but also encourages a smaller page footprint (thus making downloads faster). This process also has a fortunate (although very deliberate) side-effect of forcing necessary attention to the site content. By simplifying your messaging you reduce the noise and make your communication simpler and clearer for users.

Prioritise

Hand in hand with simplification, the process also requires careful prioritisation of content. When viewing a site on mobile, the limited real estate available forces you to choose which content tops other content. The outcome of this process for us, was the realisation that we are most proud of the work we have done and who we work with. Hence, the dominant banner at the top of the page followed by the areas of our business we feel differentiates us from the crowd.

Embracing Change

Mobile web browsing is increasing at a phenomenal rate. The past 12 months has seen mobile browsing (compared to desktop) increase from 6.74% to 12.3% worldwide and is even higher here in the UK. These figures reflect our own site statistics so we knew we could not ignore this significant shift. At the current rate, by the end of the year we’re very likely to see this exceed 15% of web browsing being done on a mobile device. This number will rapidly increase even more when you consider the impact Christmas will have with smartphones and tablets being on many peoples Christmas list.

Device Explosion

Simply offering a mobile version of a site is no longer enough, you need only to look at the aforementioned Christmas lists to see a vast myriad of screen sizes coming to market. Large, high pixel density phones such as the iPhone5, 7 inch tablets like the Nexus7 and iPad mini, wide screen tablets like Microsoft’s Surface are but a few that have been blessed with massive media coverage on this run up to the festive season. And these are the devices we know of, many more will be soon to follow along with web enabled TVs and games consoles. The one thing we can be sure of is how important cross device development is. We can no longer simply cater for desktop and phone sizes.

Let us know what you think…

We’re proud of our latest site but we’re not done yet and will be continuing to make improvements. We’d also really value your thoughts on the site and the discussion here so let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook.

Moov2 & CBR at Inter Brewery Regatta 2012

Post on in About Us

Moov2 clients and all round jolly nice bunch Close Brewery Rentals invited us along to the Inter Brewery Regatta 2012, an annual weekend sailing event they were proud to sponsor this year along with their supplier Maisonneuve.

We were honoured to be included in such a fantastic networking and team building event for the brewing industry and would like to thank CBR and Maisonneuve for organising the event. Getting to experience our local waters (The Solent) from a new perspective was a great experience and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Below are some of the pictures from the weekend of sun, sea and sailing.

02380 893842 / info@moov2.com

Moov2 at Progressive .Net Tutorials by Skillsmatter

Post on in About Us

Moov2 will be represented at the Skillsmatter Progressive .Net Tutorials conference 29-31 May 2012. Dan will be presenting a four hour workshop tutorial on HTML5 for .Net developers. The event offers attendees a chance to get deeper into a subject than a traditional conference format where sessions would typically be only an hour long. Alongside Dan are some other excellent speakers and sessions well worth attending.

For more details check out Dan’s blog or visit the Progressive .Net Tutorials 2012 website.

02380 893842 / info@moov2.com

.Net MVC Boilerplate

Post on in About Us, Software Development

The first comprehensive project to arise from our Moov2 Labs portal is .Net MVC Boilerplate.

In essence, this project provides a jump start for any new project based on the ASP.Net MVC framework saving hours of set up and configuration.

It encourages what we consider to be best practices development, modern HTML5 semantics, responsive design for mobile device support and has a comprehensive unit testing suite. Using .Net MVC Boilerplate allows a project to be kick started in seconds and provides not only a useful set of default functionality but a great guide to some of the best development practices we have picked up over the years.

By making the project open source we hope other developers will be able to make use of the project, learn from our experiences and also contribute back to help evolve the project further.

More details available about the project:
On the Github source page

02380 893842 / info@moov2.com

Introducing Moov2 Labs

Post on in About Us, Software Development

Moov2 LabsOne of the biggest challenges in the web/software world is staying abreast of the phenomenally fast evolution of technology. As a development agency we need to be in a position to advise our clients of which are the most appropriate technologies for each project we engage with.

Fortunately we love diving in and playing around with new tech and experimenting with new approaches to development. If there is an opportunity to do something better, faster or different then we want to know about it. Moov2 Labs is an outlet for these experiments so we can share and discuss with the wider community.

Moov2 Labs is our playground of ideas and experiments, the entire source code for the site and projects is open source (available on github) so anyone can benefit from it.

Take a look at the first few projects available on Moov2 Labs and keep an eye out for more in the future.

02380 893842 / info@moov2.com